Litigation Lawyers in Los Altos
If you live in , California, and believe that you have sustained some form of legal wrong, you may wish to file a lawsuit against the individual who allegedly wronged you.
If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision easily, and there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Obviously, you should never go into a lawsuit without at least consulting a knowledgeable Los Altos, California civil litigation attorney.
The Los Altos, California attorney you end up retaining will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will further advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Los Altos, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Los Altos, California, you should speak with a reliable local attorney in Los Altos, California. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Los Altos, California court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is typically the initial step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a legitimate lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court typically gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a specific period of time. This is necessary under the law of Los Altos, California to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Await The Response: The defendant has a given amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Los Altos, California. The defendant will likely respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Normally, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a predetermined period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
How Can A Los Altos, California Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Los Altos, California, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Therefore, it's always a good idea to talk with a Los Altos, California litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.